Cases pile up in Lokayukta as watchdog remains headless

Registration of new corruption complaints hit across State
Last Updated 19 February 2016, 19:32 IST

Even as complaints in the Lokayukta jurisdiction are pending for the past seven months, the Lokayukta police too appear to have slowed down. Across the State, the Lokayukta police have not registered not more than six cases in the last six months.

The post of Superintendent of Police, Lokayukta (Bengaluru City Division), is vacant for the past two months as the officer is on long medical leave. A few complaints filed with the Lokayukta police are still in the  preliminary inquiry stage since last two-three months.

Sources in the Lokayukta said that around 730 cases are pending in Lokayukta’s jurisdiction ever since former Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao went on leave in July 2015 and after his subsequent resignation. Justice Rao’s son Y Ashwin has been arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on charges of extortion and corruption within Lokayukta. Upalokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi is also not adjudicating any complaints before him since the petition to remove him as Upalokayukta is pending before the Speaker.

The Lokayukta police wing officials are also disheartened due to lack of leadership. The Lokayukta SP (Bengaluru City) R Ramesh, though posted on January 1, took charge and went on medical leave from the next day. SP (Special Enquiries) Seema Latkar is in-charge SP. The Lokayukta police City Division (Bengaluru) has registered only two cases in the last two months.

“Out of two FIRs registered since January, one is a court-referred case, the other is a trap of a police constable. The cases under investigation are also pending since there is no proper review of the cases. This apart, 45-55 police officials across the State will be relieved in view of completion of deputation of two years in the institution,” a source said.
While, Lokayukta police on their own have not registered any cases, they are not pursuing complaints filed by public.

Adarsh Iyer of Janaadhikaara Sangrama Parishath (JSP), who has filed four complaints since November 2015, said: “We had filed a complaint in connection with the forgery and irregularities in purchase and renewal of contract for CCTV cameras in the Lokayukta office premises in November 2015. Later, we filed complaints against Justice S R Nayak for violation of house building society byelaws, for making false statement in the sale deed and possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

We had also filed a complaint against former Joint Commissioner PRO Syed Riyaz for misusing his office to protect his brother and another complaint against BDA and BBMP officials on encroachment of BDA land. In none of the complaints Lokayukta police have taken any action so far,'' Adarsh said.

3 more Lokayukta courts in B’luru

The State government on Friday submitted to the High Court that three additional Lokayukta courts will be set up shortly Bengaluru. The government counsel said that as the Home Minister was busy with the elections, a decision will be taken in three weeks. While hearing a petition, Justice AN Venugopala Gowda directed the government to ensure that public prosecutors are appointed in all the Lokayukta courts across the State. 

In another petition with regard to police complaint authority, the State government submitted that 63 complaints had been registered against police personnel in Mysuru, Belagavi and Kalaburagi districts. 

(Published 19 February 2016, 19:32 IST)

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